Dale Williams wrote:
Bill Hooper wrote: (snip)
2010 Wehrheim Weißburgunder Mandelberg GG
2009 Horst Sauer Escherndorfer Lump Silvaner GG
2008 Meyer-Näkel Kräuterberg Spätburgunder GG
2011 Christmann Idig Riesling GG
2009 Christmann Idig Riesling Eiswein
2011 Bernhart Sonnenberg Riesling GG
2008 Bergdolt Weißburgunder Sekt Extra Brut
2009 Knipser Cuvee XR
2008 Villa Pistoria Riesling
OK, Bill, your list reads the most intriguing as most producers I don't know. Are these mostly Pfalz (guess the Silvaner is Franken?)?
Yup. The only non-Pfalz wines from the snip are Horst Sauer (widely recognized as the finest and most famous Franken estate) and Meyer-Näkel (ditto for the Ahr –though they went through a bit of a jammy phase for a couple of years, they seem to be back on track.)
Villa Pistoria is a 1ha estate in the Südpfalz. They make hardly any wine, so I’d be shocked if you had heard of them. But the rest are all VDP estates (Indeed, Stephan Christmann is the president of the VDP and one of the top estates in the region). They all deserve to be better represented in the US. I actually think that they all do have importers (besides maybe Bergdolt).
Wehrheim makes (very probably) the greatest Pinot Blanc on the planet with the Mandelberg GG. Year in and out, I’d put it with anyone you can think of –especially the Austrians. But yeah, not exactly cheap and it IS Pinot Blanc which gets a lot of respect here, not so much anywhere else. The same could be said of Bergdolt (they are a Pinot Blanc specialist –but make even better Riesling these days.) Bernhart is a neighbor of F. Becker. They are also a Pinot Noir firm, but I was floored by how good this Riesling was –and it was 18€ for a GG. The Knipser I tried on bottling day during a visit –it is a blend of Cab Franc and Merlot (sometimes it has Cab Sauv as well). It was the best Bordeaux Blend I’ve ever tried from Germany –don’t laugh! It’s really nice. But Knipser is probably the most famous (high quality) producer in the Pfalz (they make lots of Spätburgunder, Riesling, and just about everything else too.) None of these guys has an importer that is well-known, nor are any of them known for German wine. I can only assume that these wines get a bit lost in the portfolio. The Pfalz remains one region in Germany where the some of the greatest producers are virtually unknown in the US, while many lesser producers have found good distribution. Go figure.